I Am a Suicide Attempt Survivor

I’m a suicide attempt survivor, I grew up in Crown Heights and went to Beis Rivka till 11th grade. I grew up being surrounded by people putting me down from parents to relatives to school staff to classmates. I was that was that kid who was an easy target for bullying.

It all started in second grade and each year it got worser and worser. When I hit 6th grade it got so bad that I started to develop depression. I felt as if I was the only one in the crown heights community that felt this way. I thought that everything was all my fault and that I wasn’t a normal person. Every day I would ask God “Why did you make me like this? Why can’t I be someone else?”

When I hit high school I thought I had escaped it but this time it was a teacher that I had almost every day. Everyday she would ridicule me about my weight and not being smart enough and making a joke about me when I didn’t know the answer to her questions and no of my classmates would defend me, they would just laugh with her. It got so bad that I started staying home from school. My mother didn’t approve and when she went to the principal and told her, nothing was done about it. Of course I had to go back to school. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt stupid, like nobody liked me and I can not live this life anymore. So I took a bunch of different pills hoping I would not wake up the next morning. I woke up the next morning emotional pain because it didn’t work and psychical pain from all the pills I swallowed. I told no one and held it in for a long time.

It came to the next year, my grades were going down and I had no energy for school. The principal told my mom I couldn’t come back to school unless my parents pay extra money for a psychologist and a tutor. Even though they were tight on money they did what they had to in order for me to stay in the rebbe’s school.

I started seeing the psychologist and she asked me “Have you ever had thoughts or have hurt yourself or someone else?” I felt like I couldn’t keep it in any longer and I told her about my suicide attempt. She made me tell my parents, in that second my parents view of me changed in front of my eyes. My mother was crying thinking how can this be my daughter and my father was angry and asking why. I couldn’t tell them they were one of the reasons. I lost interest in the psychologist and stopped going.

After the school found out I was no longer seeing the psychologist they were trying to kick me out and my mother said to me “I give up on you” and sent me to a school where everyone In the community says “that’s where the bad girls go.” Even though the school was better for me in education, I felt so alone in there because I had no close friends there and I came home depressed but I held it in because I don’t want my parents to find out that I was having feelings like that again.

I keep things in now so often because I don’t want to be vulnerable again. I am now in my second year out of high school but I feel I’m not ready to go out in the world and face the next stage because I feel I’m confined in a cage because of my past. I have not been to therapy since that but this month I’m starting to go to therapy and this time it’s my choice because I want to get better. I still have days where I wish I wasn’t alive but for now I self medicate with music.

In the future I hope to open a Lubavitch middle school and high school that has a zero tolerance bullying policy and a place where the students can openly be themselves, feel safe, and have a happy school experience. I want to be able to openly discuss ways we can improve teenagers mental health and make sure it’s addressed so we can prevent future suicide attempts.

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  1. Sara January 23, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Wow! Much respect

  2. jjbiener January 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I understand a bit of this because someone close to me experienced something similar. She had an abusive mother who was horrible beyond my ability to express. While she never attempted suicide, it was always her constant companion. She said it was her safety valve. If things ever got too hard for her to bear, she knew she always had a way out.

    She had years of therapy and while the abuse never left her, she learned how to live with and cope with the trauma that abuse caused. She was able to lead a full life.

    I am not a mental health professional, so I can’t help you from that perspective, but I can and will be your friend if you want to reach out to me. I will never judge you for what you do to survive. We all have our own battles to fight. If you want to talk, I will listen.

  3. Yetta January 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Hi dear,
    If we only we knew back then in elementary school, when those people’s actions toward us started that we weren’t the only ones there alone!

    Please email me @ yentonline@gmail.com.

    I would love to meet up with you, I am looking to start such a school as well.

    1. 900windows January 29, 2017 at 5:00 am

      “While she never attempted suicide, it was always her constant companion. She said it was her safety valve. If things ever got too hard for her to bear, she knew she always had a way out.”

      This. Thank you for this. It’s my feeling too.

  4. Chavi January 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I want to wish you every bit of success in starting your school. Schools like that are needed not just in Crown Heights, but all over. Hashem should bless every ounce of your effort and shower you with divine intervention and open good. From this awful trauma and pain, may you emerge stronger; a shining light to lead and help. These projects are never smooth sailing. But do not give up. I absolutely believe in you.

  5. Simi January 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing. You are so brave and strong. You have a will so there must be a way. You can do anything. There is help out there and I’m happy to hear that you are open to getting what you need to feel good. Sending you much love and support.

  6. Amy January 23, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    You’re brave to share your story. People can be very mean. I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this. You’re a smart, beautiful young lady. If you feel talking, you can call me anytime. I love you

  7. Shanee January 24, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Hi! I would love to repost this on Refuat Hanefesh with neshamas.com approval (we’ll provide a link to their site of course). If you are interested please email me shaneemarkovitz@refuathanefesh.com this is fantastic!

    1. A Neshama January 25, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Neshamas allows reposting of the stories on our site, provided that you include clear attribution.

  8. Leeba January 24, 2017 at 10:40 am

    You are very brave to write this. One of my kids was bullied for 3 years in middle school. It was very painful and time has healed us. I know it hard for you to see this now , but you will emerge from this much stronger. Call or email me anytime. From your new friend in Southern California

  9. shterne estreicher January 24, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    please email me at peanuhbuttuh@gmail.com. I had depression and anxiety and would love to talk with you! Im so sorry for your suffering

  10. Morah January 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Thank you for writing. I was bullied as well and relate to many parts of your story. I am sorry you had to go through this. No one should have to face such a reality. The bottom line is, though, that this is the reality for many kids and even adults. Many people have been speaking out about bullying, and thats great. However, it doesn’t seem to nip it. Bullying is still a real problem. I am now a teacher in a local CH school, with the goal in mind of combating all the negative interactions I had as a kid, and making sure that at least the kids I teach will have a better chance of not sharing that reality.
    Although I feel for your sentiment, it is important to remember that change starts from within. I am happy to share with you my road to recovery. I am now a stronger, wiser, and more dignified person than anyone could have imagined for that little ‘victim’ in me. When I tell people of my past, they simply don’t believe me. You too, will get there one day, I am sure. Keep your eyes open, head up, look for answers, solutions, and the right questions to ask to the right people, and you will hopefully find a happier, secure part of yourself that can rule your heart and mind.
    Feel free to respond with your email if you would like to hear more, and I’ll be happy to be in touch:)
    Best of luck.


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